Here’s why the BHP Billiton Limited share price jumped 5.4% today

Shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) have risen strongly today, lifting 5.4% to $15.90, although they did rise as much as 7% earlier to a high of $16.14.

Indeed, it’s been a tough run for shareholders of BHP Billiton over the last five years or so with their shares heavily underperforming the broader S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) during that time. This was largely due to crashing commodity prices – particularly iron ore and, more recently oil as well – sparked by growing supplies at a time where global demand was waning.

The beginning of 2016 was no different. Oil prices collapsed further, falling to their lowest levels in more than a decade to around US$27 a barrel with BHP’s own share price plunging to just $14.06 in January.

Although the miner’s shares are still sitting almost 49% below their price from just 12 months ago, they have managed to regain some composure over the last month or so. The iron ore price appears to have stabilised above US$40 a tonne, for now, while oil prices have also rebounded above US$30 a barrel.

In fact, oil prices experienced their strongest gain in seven years during the latest session, according to The Australian Financial Review, which is likely the catalyst behind BHP Billiton’s strong share price gains today.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude surged more than 12% higher to US$29.44 a barrel, with total volume traded reportedly 83% above the 100-day average. Meanwhile, Brent crude oil also gained 11% to close above US$33 a barrel.

According to CNBC, the strong rally came as a result of fresh speculation that OPEC, the world’s biggest oil cartel, may finally agree to cut production to reduce the world glut and help lift prices again.

The problem is, this isn’t the first time there has been such speculation of a new agreement being reached. Such an agreement is by no means guaranteed and, if it’s not reached soon, prices could drop sharply again inflicting even more pain on the already-battered energy sector.

Indeed, BHP’s shares could certainly make for a good long-term buy at some point in the future – maybe even sometime this year – but right now, it seems as though investors are putting a lot of weight behind this oil rally being sustained. For that reason, I think it’s a good idea for investors to ignore these short-term movements and focus instead on the industry fundamentals and headwinds which could see BHP’s share price fall even below its current level.

I’m not buying BHP Billiton’s shares, and think there are far greater opportunities for long-term investors to focus on instead.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman has no position in any stocks mentioned. Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ASXvalueinvest.

The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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